Born in a Christian family, Gisele Moura, dreams of living in a world without borders, without class or caste distinctions, without racism, without exploitation of man by man, without disrespect for Mother Earth.
She says, “My painting tries to reflect this ideal, which I thought was impossible. Now I believe in this ideal world, from the moment I started meditating through Sahaja Yoga, because I saw that all over the planet there are people who dream like me.” “I felt that in Sahaja Yoga, this whole jigsaw puzzle of religions came together, starting to make sense to me. I gained a big worldwide family and I know I can feel at home in every country in the world!”
She further adds, “I learned from Sahaja Yoga (a free meditation technique that exists in most countries of the world, which was developed by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi), that deities (we can call them Gods and Goddesses), exist inside and outside each one of us and manifest themselves as qualities we can develop.”
In an Exclusive Interview with Jagritimedia, the artist has opened out about her art and the purpose behind.
JM: Hello Gisele Moura, share with us, your journey of art.
Gisele Moura: Namaste! I am an artist graduated from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. My studies have helped me to develop a wide range of experience and techniques, which is no more important than the childhood experiences of drawings done in the little notebooks that my mother used to take for our trips. This was a way I could register everything, learning to see and reread my impressions through traces and colors.
I did some expositions, illustrations for books, CDs, scenarios, Photographies, mural paintings, corporal paintings and crafts. Also, I researched about social issues in Brazilian art, and about popular art, which in that time was so devalued in Fine Arts schools. I immersed myself in the theoretical world and learned a lot, until discovering that life would teach me so much more!
I lived in Granada, Spain, where I had the privilege to contemplate the Moorish art, that is so rich in details, sources, and faith. I almost lived in Recife city, where I discovered the impact of colors, the light of the sun, and the joy of blending/ mixing that has become an endless source of inspiration. Also, I could spend a good amount of time in this historic and small city called Ouro Preto, the city of gold, where you are always going up or down a hill, the time stops, and we can watch life as if it was a movie.
I dance a lot! Dances from every culture, indigenous, Spanish, Chilean, Cuban, and popular Brazilian dance. I think my art dances a little bit as well. I sang walking through the streets of every place I went, heard music while painting and wrote its letters within the frames until they learnt to sing a little bit as well.
I searched a lot outside and found some parts of my puzzle, which just started to take form when I started to search within myself. I learned how to meditate, to hear silence, and discovered that the entire universe also exists within me and each one of us. So, only then, art started to manifest itself in my life with plenitude. Now I keep on going firmly in this path.
My life and art are dedicated to Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, with profound gratitude.
JM: What is an art to you? Do you think that art has the potential to transform the world in a better way?
Gisele Moura: I believe that art stimulates the consciousness of human beings, in the sense of making them closer to what their essence would be, which can be called self, spirit, of themselves, of divine spark. At a time when human beings must necessarily move towards collective and environmental awareness, before the planet no longer supports material greed and social values become even more confused, I believe that art is a way of nurturing people with values subtle and dharmic, touching them not through the mind but through the heart. The heart recognizes the truth and does not react to it, therefore art touches the heart and blossoms as if it were a seed sown on Earth. Often, a message conveyed through speech, through reason, causes the ego to react and not absorb the idea, due to the conditioning of each individual and culture. But the idea transmitted through art can be absorbed smoothly by what is most sensitive in the human soul.
JM: Your paintings/ art pieces express the message of love, unity, and harmony in the world. Tell us something about the motif behind your paintings.
Gisele Moura: I have always dreamed of living in a world without borders, without class or caste distinctions, without racism, without exploitation of man by man, without disrespect for Mother Earth. My painting tries to reflect this ideal, which I thought was impossible. Now I believe in this ideal world, from the moment I started meditating through Sahaja Yoga, because I saw that all over the planet there are people who dream like me.
JM: Tell us on the paintings that depict God and Goddess and especially on Hindu God/ Goddess.
Gisele Moura: I learned from Sahaja Yoga (a free meditation technique that exists in most countries of the world, which was developed by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi), that deities (we can call them Gods and Goddesses), exist inside and outside each one of us and manifest themselves as qualities we can develop.
I have been meditating since 2008 for Sahaja Yoga and it took me some time to understand Hindu deities as they were not part of my culture. With meditation, little by little, I felt these deities and their manifestations in me, and I developed the desire to represent them through my paintings. It happened naturally, through dreams, intuition, internal changes. In fact, I discovered that in all cultures of the world, where purity, innocence, faith, and especially love still to exist, these same deities manifest themselves in different ways, because many of their archetypes remain the same, so many in the culture Hindu, as in the indigenous native of the Americas, as in Ancient Greece, China, Europe, Africa and Brazilian African religions, etc.
What happened to religions in general is that they were gradually distorted by human interests and gradually degraded. But the essence is still the same. I believe that the divine manifests itself to each people, in the way that the population of each time and place understands it better.
JM: Do you believe in all religions? Which religion do you belong to?
Gisele Moura: I believe in spirituality, that is, in the innate religion that exists within each of us. In the essence of the divine that manifests itself in our heart as the spirit, and in our kundalini. That’s why I respect all religions, but not fanatics. I respect all the teachings of the great masters who incarnated around the world, but I already know how to distinguish those who are false masters.
I respect, more than anything, the teachings of Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, as She showed the possibility of uniting religions through pure love, and respect for the teachings of all the great incarnations of Saints and deities that manifested among human beings. I was born into a Christian family, which was divided between Catholicism and Spiritism. I got to know indigenous Brazilian and African religions manifested in Brazil, which is my country, the Buddhist religion, among others. Today I practice Sahaja Yoga, because when I discovered this meditation, I felt that in Sahaja Yoga, this whole jigsaw puzzle of religions came together, starting to make sense to me. I gained a big worldwide family and I know I can feel at home in every country in the world!
JM: For how many years are you painting?
Gisele Moura: I‘ve been drawing since I was a child. My mother always encouraged. She was always a generous person, happy with life, lover of the arts, music, poetry, dance. She was a children’s teacher. She and my father have also always been responsible, honest, hardworking and loving people. They influenced my love of people and the arts.
I graduated in Fine Arts in 1997, but the financial difficulties of living as an artist, at least in Brazil, put me off for many years. From 2002, when my first daughter, Surya, was born, I started dedicating myself more intensely to painting. After Sahaja Yoga my inspiration and creativity increased even more.
As I spoke about My daughter, I find it interesting to note that my children were born before I got to know Indian culture through Sahaja Yoga, but both have Sanskrit names. I think it was a divine “coincidence”. My daughter is called Surya and my son is called Ravi. I say they are gifts I got from God to take care of. I love being a mother!
JM: How long do you generally take to complete the painting?
Gisele Moura: A small painting, 40 x 40 cm for example, I take between three and four days to do. A large one, measuring 130 x 70 cm for example, can take me a month. I cannot paint more than four hours a day, as my movements are made with a very fine brush and look like lace woven with threads. So, if I paint longer, my hands hurt a lot during the night. During the rest of the day, I take care of the house, the family and the registration of paintings, projects, sales, photography, meditation, reading, classes on the internet… I like to listen to classes on philosophy, history, literature, on the human mind, etc.
JM: What procedure do you follow to make your paintings?
Gisele Moura: First, I ask for divine power to guide me. Normally I use acrylic paint on canvas, but sometimes I use watercolor, ballpoint pen, India ink and other materials. I use a bigger brush for the foundation, and I do the details with a very thin brush, which needs to be new for the type of technique I developed. Normally I don’t draw before painting, nor do I do studies for the paintings. I just go into meditation and start. Ideas come from meditation and also from music, poetry, dreams, nature and life itself and its events. My favorite theme is the union of human beings and nature.
JM: Tell something about the awards/ rewards/ recognition you received for your art.
Gisele Moura: I won few prizes. Still at university, I won an illustration award from Revista Literária. I won a scholarship to study in Spain for two months in 1998, after I graduated, and an award for painting patterns on supermarket bags in my city. Others were honorable mentions, such as for a painting in my Refloresta exhibition and a nativity scene I created.
JM: What do you say on the role of art in the modern era?
Gisele Moura: This is a very difficult question to answer. I think art should sensitize people in some way. It should help them think, reflect on themselves and the world. I believe that sensitizing people through love, joy, showing that a better world is possible, is the best way that art has to collaborate with humanity. Art is also valid for denouncing, for causing indignation and reaction in the sense of touching all human dimensions. However, I find the art market very confusing. I see so much meaningless art, so much speculation, so much falsehood and overpricing, so much injustice from the art market and gallery owners towards artists. I hope that one day all this will become transparent and ethical.
JM: Other than painting, what do you do?
Gisele Moura: I am an artist by profession. I work mostly with painting on canvas, but I also create inserts for CDs, I’ve worked with sewing, illustration, artistic makeup, photography, crafts. I also worked a lot with Brazilian popular dance and Brazilian folklore research. I like being with simple, hardworking people. I like to dance, to sing, to celebrate. Sometimes I write poetry. I would like to write more. I’m a housewife too.
JM: Tell us something about your favorite paintings, the art piece/s which you feel proud upon, or really feel happy.
Gisele Moura: I feel happy with most of the art I do, and I’m almost always inspired. But sometimes I go through some periods of less creativity. These moments cause a little anguish, because in self-employment we demand a lot from ourselves. I believe that these moments of creative suspension are times to rethink, grow, change, go up one more step.
One of the exhibitions I most enjoyed doing was just virtual, because of Covid 19. This exhibition, which is called “Cartas para o Menino Azul”. They are paintings that I made as if I were writing letters to Shri Krishna, talking to Him about the Vishudi chakra and the culture of Brazil and the Americas. It was a very intense and dedicated time! I even wrote, in a notebook, many letters to him during this process and the poetry I wrote for the exhibition was set to music by a Brazilian composer. I also really enjoyed doing the Mãe Nossa exhibition, which was inspired by Gwenael Verez’s book, A Mãe e a Espiritualidade. I took this exhibition to several cities, in which I gave lectures on the Goddess archetypes and gave Self-realization in all these lectures.
JM: What is your message to the world.
Gisele Moura: My message to the world is present in all the paintings I made:
Shall we wish everyone well? Let’s play more, be together, take care of each other, love, sing, dance, create, laugh, hold hands? Are we going to distribute this wealth better? Are we going to consume less, see people beyond their possessions, respect nature like our Mother Earth? Are we going to respect religions, cultures, people, and try to see the divine essence in each one of them?
JM: Anything else you feel, you should share with the readers.
Gisele Moura: I would like to thank you very much for this invitation to be here sharing arts and ideas. I hope my work touches some hearts and minds. And I would like to invite everyone who doesn’t know it yet, to get to know Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi and Sahaja Yoga, which transforms our life and our worldview in a beautiful and indescribable way. I believe that we should always maintain enthusiasm for life. He is the manifestation of our divine essence.
About the Painter, Gisele Moura
Graduated from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, Gisele Moura held individual and group exhibitions in Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brazil and Ukraine. Apart from painting, she constantly being active and engaged in activities like dancing, choral singing, musicalization and sewing courses, having worked in several areas, such as dance, research on Brazilian popular culture, book illustration, handicrafts, murals and body painting, embroidery, photography, art workshops for children, scenography, and creation of inserts for CDs. Also, she has given lectures on art, meditation, collective and environmental awareness at colleges, schools and cultural centers and was a professor of the extension course ‘Meditation and Creative Processes’ at the Faculty of Education of the Federal University of Minas Gerais. Gisele is part of the Libertas Collective of Artists “Libertas”, from Minas Gerais.
The artist has received awards of internatinal acclaim, such as: She received awards for illustrations from Revista Literária da UFMG, APUBH, Salão de Arte de Itabirito and from the 30 years of Supermercado Verdemar competition.
Site Gisele Moura